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The Library at Mount Char
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2016 Book Club Discussions > October 2016: The Library at Mount Char - First Impressions

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message 1: by Jack (last edited Oct 03, 2016 02:14AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jack | 6 comments Hi all! So apparently I'm putting these up this month. First time, so hopefully you don't mind me being a bit late.

I have to say, I'm really enjoying this so far. I know a lot of reviews are saying it's amazing, but until you actually start, you can never know. The writing style is simple, yet engaging. The story feels so odd. Like everyone's so nonchalant about all this weird stuff going on.

I read another 30 pages this morning, up to 110 now. I really don't want this to end.

Also, I'm posting a link to this on reddit, yes? Okay, cool.

Well, here's a link to the reddit thread

https://www.reddit.com/r/Fantasy/comm...

Also, I'll pop another thread up for the midway discussion next weekend, probably the 14th. Discussion will be chapters 1-7.


Megan (megan_d) | 3 comments This booked has an excellent first line. One sentence and already Carolyn is established as something other than entirely human. It's the "the."

"the two-lane stretch of blacktop that the Americans called Highway 78."

If the line was "that Americans called" Well then you'd just think she was simply not American. But "the Americans" suggests something stranger.

Just one example of the efficient and effortless use of language employed in this book.


Drew Abendroth | 9 comments I'm almost 100 pages in and loving it. This book has such an interesting premise that I don't want to put in down until I know what's happening. Excellent October pick!


Andorion (ruineleint) | 12 comments I have read the first three chapters and the first interlude.

A very remarkable book, chiefly in the way it talks about very unusual things in a very everyday matter of fact way


Mike (mikeofthepalace) | 14 comments I finished the book already (it's amazing), but I had the presence of mind to take notes as I read:

My thoughts after finishing chapter 1: this is creepy. Also weird and disturbing. And creepy. Did I mention creepy?

David is more than a little frightening, I feel a lot of sympathy for Michael, Jennifer seems OK, and Margaret (what little we see of her) seems almost as frightening as David. And what's most frightening about all of this is how normal they all see everything as. What the hell is the deal with this library? Carolyn seems to have her head reasonably straight on her shoulders, but even she doesn't seem at all put off by the goings on, just by David.

So yeah. I'm hooked.


Andorion (ruineleint) | 12 comments Mike wrote: "I finished the book already (it's amazing), but I had the presence of mind to take notes as I read:

My thoughts after finishing chapter 1: this is creepy. Also weird and disturbing. And creepy. Di..."


David is scary. Seriously scary. A full blown psychopath. And yet don't you get the feeling that the darkness has only begun?


Victor | 22 comments Like I said in the wrong thread: I've devoured it. I love the simple but effective style of telling a very original story. The book has twists and turns and, although it's not my type of ending, the finale was satisfying for me. Also it has a bit of Lovecraftian flavor to it.

(view spoiler)

I'll copy everything between spoiler tags in the discussion thread between the ones who finished the book.


Allison I've got about 100 pages to go and it's been an interesting read, but I haven't decided whether I like it yet or not. I think I'll know better once I find out where all of this is going.

I haven't cared for some of the characters, Erwin in particular is a bit cliche. I don't feel much of anything for Carolyn, maybe slightly more for Michael. Margaret's story is profoundly upsetting, especially her relationship with David. I thought I was getting some feeling for David when the bull story was explained, but so far it's been left there (and the tutu detail was mentioned too much).

Some of the plot points have felt a bit horrific and weird for the sake of being horrific and weird. And at least two character deaths seemed unnecessary and therefore didn't have the emotional impact on me that I thought they were intended to.

I still am actively engaged in the story and feel like I would like to read some other books by this author. I'm looking forward to the ending and hope it's satisfying. But the book itself is maybe not my cup of tea. I'm open to changing my mind in the last 100 pages though.


Jolene (jrbragg) | 3 comments I have only gotten a few chapters in, but I'm enjoying that the author just throws us into the story without a lot of explanation, and leaves me wanting more explanation. I agree with Arkadeb "it talks about very unusual things in a very everyday matter of fact way." I am enjoying that aspect of the book tremendously myself.


Morgan Beldyk | 8 comments You know, I was this close to sitting this one out. I downloaded the preview for Kindle, and found it engaging, but not engrossing, and the full version was $11.99 which is just a hair more than I typically care to spend on an ebook. But then I slept on it, and the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to know what happened next. Who is Father? Why is he missing? Why are these kids so messed up? So I shelled out the 12 bucks and I'm glad I did, because wow, I can't put this book down. It's eerie and unsettling, but with a dark sense of humor that's amusing at times. It reminds me of what I thought, based on the Internet response, the show Stranger Things would be like. It's definitely not the type of thing I typically go for, but I must say it's been an entertaining read so far.


Andorion (ruineleint) | 12 comments So I finished the book, and if you think the book is dark and twisted, wait till you get to the last chapters!


message 12: by Jack (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jack | 6 comments Arkadeb wrote: "So I finished the book, and if you think the book is dark and twisted, wait till you get to the last chapters!"

I was supposed to pace myself with this, but I just couldn't help myself. Can't wait for the full discussion thread.


message 13: by Jack (new) - rated it 1 star

Jack Lanigan | 9 comments Just about 20% in so far. It's not bad per say but something about it feels off. Parts of it feel like something weird happens not because of any kind of internal logic or intrigue but just because the author wanted to write a "weird" book.

I could be wrong, of course. Guess I'll read on and see.


Xeyra | 7 comments I'm going to start this either today or tomorrow and I confess I know very little of it aside from its blurb; just got it because I saw people recommend it and the synopsis sounded quite appealing.


message 15: by Lisa (new) - added it

Lisa (tenaciousreader) | 301 comments I read the first bit of this over a year ago before it was released. I knew absolutely nothing about it, there really weren't any reviews of it yet. And well.... I was in the mood for something light and easy, a fun popcorn kind of read. While I could see merit in the book, I set it aside because it was so far from what I wanted at the time. I may try to pick it back up and see how it goes. I don't always do well with weird, so I'm a little leery. Dark is good, violence is fine, but when things start to get quite strange/odd, I find I don't enjoy it as much.


David (tecnoladave) | 1 comments I am a bit over half way. As everyone has said it is dark, weird, and twisted. It seemed very disjointed at first but i'm at a good place with the book now.


message 17: by Lark (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lark | 5 comments I've read it before this month, but wanted to drop in for the conversation. It's one of my favorite releases of recent years. There's just enough blurring of genres (horror, mystery, fantasy) that makes it quite interesting. It doesn't feel like anything I've read before - which is always a huge plus.

And the rereadability is quite good.


Travis (tctippens) | 47 comments I'm a little over halfway through and I'm really enjoying the book so far. This is my first "dark" fantasy so I think I might have been a little unprepared with what to expect. My early reactions:

What's going on? Hmm, this is a little confusing. Okay cool, I think I see where--WHAT? She did WHAT? Oh okay this other guy is cool. OH NO IT'S GOING TO HAPPEN AGAIN.

In all seriousness, though, I think my favorite part about this book so far is how quickly Hawkins makes me identify with a character. The side characters feel pretty richly fleshed out after just a couple pages. Conversely, it's a little jarring how little I can sympathize with Carolyn, even though she seems to be the driving character thus far.


message 19: by Unsu (new)

Unsu Lee | 3 comments I just finished the book today. Like everyone else, the adjective "weird" keeps coming up for me. But it's also strangely moving. I really enjoy how it can't be placed in any one genre. Definitely a worthwhile read.


message 20: by Unsu (new)

Unsu Lee | 3 comments Megan wrote: "This booked has an excellent first line. One sentence and already Carolyn is established as something other than entirely human. It's the "the."

"the two-lane stretch of blacktop that the America..."


I completely agree with your observation about the economy of the language and storytelling.


Xeyra | 7 comments This is probably the weirdest, bloodiest book I've read in a long time. Higher body count than an action movie. :D


Megan (megan_d) | 3 comments The smiley face at the end really makes your comment


Roselyn (fantasy-newb) just about 60 pages in and. wow. set the right october feels for me.

and all the comments here just makes me too eager to finish it in one sitting XD


Laura | 11 comments Well this book properly fucked me up. Something to do with reading a lot of it while working on night shifts in a Psychiatric ward probably, but still.
I liked the purpose an awful lot, and understand the loose comparisons to Chuck Palahniuk. I also really liked how well supporting characters were well fleshed out, almost altering the prose for each of their pov chapters.

One of those stories where you think it can't get much more grimdark, but it does.
Also really appreciate the fact that the lead character is a woman. It passes the Bechdel test well and truly.

All in all I really did enjoy it. Not the normal sub-genre of fantasy I'd go for but I really liked it none the less. And that's the reason we join book groups, right?


message 25: by Sam (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sam | 13 comments So I know I'm super late to this but real life has been a bitch recently so I just started this today.

I'm about 120 pages into it and so far my thoughts on this book are as follows: this book is fucking weird.

The writing is great, the characters are solid and I'm super interested in whats happening. Not sure I can say that I enjoy it though. Hopefully things start to make more sense soon.

Overall though I'm really intrigued and looking forward to reading more.


message 26: by Phoebe (new) - added it

Phoebe Prince (HDLynn) | 11 comments Mike wrote: "I finished the book already (it's amazing), but I had the presence of mind to take notes as I read:

My thoughts after finishing chapter 1: this is creepy. Also weird and disturbing. And creepy. Di..."


Yes! There is going to be a lot of weird in this book. I'm excited for that, even if I don't really find myself loving the story. This seems like it's going to be a horrific take on the story of a god-like figure giving normal kids magic powers.


message 27: by Tom (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tom (tommmmmh) Finally got this from the library. Read up to 20% last night. This book is addicting.


Joshua Hicken (ceskykure) | 3 comments This was such a good book, i really liked that the book kept me guessing.

Why is Steve so important? who is Erwin? Why does Carolyn keep coming back for them? What is Carolyns plan? is it really her plan? I loved the suspense that this book was able to put out.

The ending was great for me as well. Explaining just enough to satisfy me and leave me wanting more


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